Category Archives: Barry’s Thoughts and Quirks

Thank You Apple – Barry’s Thoughts and Quirks

IMG_0215Today while waiting for some iPhone support at the new Walnut Creek Apple Store we witnessed for about the fifth time, a young man (in the blue shirt) sweeping up pebbles from the plaza’s sidewalk.  This  Apple Store has a wonderful outside seating area for customers to enjoy while waiting for service.  The first time we saw him was in September.  At that time Sandi said something to him about the pebbles he was sweeping up; boy he was ready to share that Apple employs him to keep the area clean and safe.  He was proud of his job.  Many of the people that shop in Downtown Walnut Creek make more in a day than he probably makes in a month, but I don’t think any are as proud and thankful of his job as him.  Thank you Apple for giving people that have mental or developmental challenges the opportunity to succeed.  I only wish that I was able to video him when he was in full action as his spirit gave me a lift today.

Barry’s Thoughts and Quirks – Gluten Free and Keto Friends and Followers!!!

I have been looking for recipes that are either Gluten Free or Keto that I can try, adjust if needed and post in “Cookin’ in the Hallway”, and hope to have some posted in January.   Until then here is a fun email I received you might enjoy.   IMG_0200If you follow or know me you know I love my Safeway, which has introduced a new online shopping experience that is different than their Home Delivery or Store Pickup online site.  This new site will be specializing in different dietary needs such as Gluten Free and Keto!!!   Notice that they are offering Gluten Free and Keto Snack Boxes and FREE Shipping!!!   The website address is: https://www.moreforu.com   Hope you enjoy!!!

Barry’s Thoughts and Quirks – Barry the Germaphobe & H1N1 Compliant

IMG_0118Every year I battle if I should get the flu shot or not.  Kaiser, my medical insurer and provider each year encourages me to get the flu shot; and you can’t go in a major grocery store, drug store or Kaiser without seeing “Flu Shot Here” signs everywhere.   NOTE I’M NOT SAYING TO OR NOT TO GET THE FLU SHOT!!!!   img_0078.jpg
It is also important to remember that the flu shot vaccine is a roll of the of the dice each year as they only can guess which influenza will hit the country, and they do generally hit most of the virus’s that come through the population.

The one year out of the last decade I got the flu shot, I got the flu.   I generally don’t get sick outside of each year I get a sinus infection with the first major allergy outbreak.  How do i not get the flu without the shot…… 

th-1Well to start out I’m a germaphobe and I wash my hands about forty times a day; but often without soap.  Why no soap?; did you know that there are germs living outside and inside of many refillable restroom soap dispensers?  A Columbia School of Nursing research shows that refillable public soap dispensers have their own set of germs.  Also think about the fact that everyone with dirty germmy hands touches the soap dispenser before washing their hands.  

If in a public restroom I also always save the paper towel from drying my hands to open the restroom door if it has a handle.  If the door is one I can push open I use my lower arm, or my shoulder if I’m not wearing a long sleeve shirt.   

I DON’T use antibacterial soaps or gels on a daily basis…. some people I’ve worked with used the gels on an hourly basis or MORE!!!  A FDA study shows that antibacterial soaps can lead us to a set of germs tat will build a resistance to the chemical in the soaps to kill germs.  I have found that the people I know that get sick a lot are the same ones that use the antibacterial gels constantly.  Working with the public all of my work life I did use antibacterial gels after I have encountered a really sick person or a person with poor hygiene habits, but never on a daily basis. 

IMG_0120I told you how I open bathroom doors, but how about other public doors.  I always open doors when possible without my hands, I love the automatic door openers I can hit with my elbow or foot.  If I have to use my hand I open them with my righthand as it is my public hand.  Think about it, even if your left-handed you shake someone else’s righthand that has touched everything.  Now when using my righthand I only touch the bottom of the handle or if it is a bar handle as far away from the edge as that is where most people touch it.  Ok, some of you are saying that germmy kids use the bottom of door handles….and your right but look at a bottom and top of handles and you’ll see almost no wear on the bottom’s but the tops are wearing down through the metal layers so the bottoms are hardly ever used by kids.

Now since I use my righthand for all germmy things I do, what do I use my lefthand for……well taking a tissue to my nose, taking care of an itch on my face, eating a unwrapped sandwich, burger, etc. and the fries!!!   I know I’m safe using my lefthand as it has not touched any public surfaces or someone else’s hand via a handshake.

My Family and Friends that really know me understand…..Our Friend/Realtor and fellow germaphobe, Missey, and I got Sandi to come fully to our camp this last year.  About twenty years ago Missey and I were the founders of a fundraising group for our kids Dance Competition Team selling Hot Dogs, Coke, Beer, Popcorn and Peanuts at a Giants/49ers Hot Dog stand inside Candlestick and AT&T Parks.  It was a fun experience except for the fact we drove our teammates crazy with our germaphobe habits….which we tried to have them follow….didn’t work.

I hope this gave you some insights on how I stay healthy.  I know some of you won’t get it….it being the flu or my thoughts and quirks.  As an Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Disaster/Emergency Services Assistant I had to go to different types of seminars one of which was dealing with the “Influenza A virus subtype H1N1” back in 2009, this training focused on the germs on our hands which sent me over the top on my germaphobic habits.  I since have said I’m “H1N1” compliant.

Barry’s Thoughts and Quirks – President H.W. Bush

We watch both Funeral Services held for President H.W. Bush and were moved by the eulogies and the services.  One piece has been in my mind for two days now……

President H.W. Bush’s close friend Reverend Russell J. Levenson shared at the President’s Funeral held in the National Cathedral, that in 2011 President Bush gave him a plaque with the quote, “Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary use words,” attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. “I keep that on my desk,” Levenson said.

I want a plaque that reminds me of this quote; and It is my hope that I present myself to the people I see everyday per the quote.

Barry’s Thoughts and Quirks – Veteran’s Day and My Heroes

5996534-6375307-The_Camp_Fire_above_completely_engulfed_the_town_of_Paradise_in_-a-40_1541893800337Today we are inside due to the air outside being full of smoke from the Camp Fire in Paradise;  we have been and will continue to be praying for all in Paradise, the First Responders and Fire Fighters.  Due to being locked inside it was a good day to do some minor plumbing work on our two toilets, as the gaskets are just over ten years old and starting to have some issues.  Usually any plumbing project takes me three trips to Ace, today I did it without even one trip as I already had bought the parts.  I’m not a fan of plumbing projects, but I can handle them…..thanks to a VETERAN or two…….my Dad and Brother!!!!   

Untitled 2My Dad served during WWII in the Canadian Army in the Medical Core stationed for most of his service in Ottawa, Ontario, 3,000 miles from his home in Vancouver, British Columbia.  It’s a good thing he was stationed in Ottawa as he was housed in the house next door to my Grandparents home where my Mom was living and working as a Civil Servant in the payroll office for the Canadian Army Troops in Europe.  My parents got married after the war.

My Brother served during the Vietnam War in the American Army in the Signal Core stationed for one (VERY LONG) year in Pleiku, Vietnam.  Rich and I are close today; and stayed close while he served writing back and forth each week.  Writing to Rich became an extend Hall Family gathering tradition as our Auntie Phil would have some funny way of us all writing him a Family combined letter; one time it was on adding machine paper and the funniest was the time we wrote him on toilet paper still on the roll. 

Rich and I learned a lot from our Dad; and Rich has always been one of my biggest cheer leaders!!!  Our Dad taught us our work ethic, common sense and respect.  When doing home projects that respect extended to electricity, gas, and hot water. 

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Matt’s Facebook Post:  Rich with Charlie his Grandson who is named after our Dad

Rich has taught me to never give up, as he never gives up.  The simplest of things like communicating can be difficult for him, especially the last twenty-six years of dealing with the aftermath of a major stroke.  Rich struggles just to get out one word that is stuck in his head, but he doesn’t give up and is one of the best communicators I know.
Our Nephew summed it up today on Facebook (Sandi showed me on her Facebook as I’m no longer on it).  Matt simply said “Thankful for this Veteran”…….I am too.  

Barry’s Thoughts and Quirks – Rio Vista and Beyond!!!

Barry’s Thoughts and Quirks

I am starting a new blog, which for now will be found the main page of on our website www.ourhallway.com.  If everyone likes it, I’ll move it to it’s own page.  So here it goes……

Barry’s Thoughts and Quirks – Rio Vista and Beyond!!!

First of all we LOVE living in our newly adopted small town of Rio Vista, and are finding more of it’s beauty everyday.  Rio Vista has been celebrating their 125 anniversary all year, finishing the year with a Gala Ball in December.  The town is the host to the Annual Bass Fishing Tournament, Annual Christmas Boat Parade on the Sacramento River, and is famous for the 1985 visit of Humphrey the Humpback Whale, and of course is one of the main towns on Highway 12.

thThe town has three gas stations, two banks, three bait shops (we are on the river), nine Churches, one grocery store (Lira’s), one hardware store (Ace), one variety store (Family Dollar), three car dealers (Chevrolet/Buick, Ford, Chrysler/Dodge), one bakery, multiple sit down restaurants, a Taco Bell/KFC and yes!!!! a McD’s!!!  Our little town sits about thirty minutes from  the larger nearby towns which are in three totally different directions.  Two of the directions take us across three bridges (there are six bridges in total) crossing three different rivers (Sacramento, San Joaquin, Mokelumne and multiple sloughs).  Our travels get interesting as all but one of the bridges are drawbridges, which seem to go up only at the worst of times…..like when we are on our way an appointment.

We, like most in our town, do a lot of shopping for more than the basics outside of town.  When most of you reading this post go shopping it takes maybe two songs on the radio to get to a store, well for us it takes an entire album.  Fortunately, we actually talk, yes talk to each other, as foreign as that might sound to others.  We get on the funniest, random subjects, and are driven to get more information so we (Sandi, as I’m usually driving) gets on the internet to find out more about the “subject of the day”.  

Today, on the way home from lunch with our daughter Elise, we picked up some groceries at Safeway and puppy food at Pet’s Mart because we are rescuing an 8 week old terrier mix puppy.  In the last eleven months we lost two of our beloved puppies, Scoutie and Daphney.  

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Daphney & Scoutie September 2017

We lost Scoutie last Thanksgiving and Daphney last month.  When we lost Scoutie, Sandi started looking for a puppy to (help all of us, but especially Daphney) join our family. 

Franklyn

Franklin January 2018

On Christmas Day 2017, we were heading to Santa Clara Valley for Christmas with our family and we got a call from a rescue shelter that they had a puppy for us.  That night we met, fell in love and picked up the puppy.  Sandi got to pick him, and I got to name him  His name is Franklyn (yes with a ‘y”) after one of my favorite people in history Benjamin Franklin.  I picked out our newest puppy (a sister for Franklyn) so Sandi is going to name her and

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Harriet November 2018

so far, is settling on Harriet, for Harriet Tubman, an
amazing women in American History.  Our Sister-In-Law had suggested Eleanor which I believe is for First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt.

In the car a conversation began about the First Ladies that served our country and the legacy they left behind.  I said that Eleanor Roosevelt was, I believe, the hardest working First Lady as she assumed many of the roles of the Presidency for Franklin D. Roosevelt when he was physically unable to complete the duties of the office.  That led us to talking about the other amazing First Ladies in our history, some that are easy to remember as well as their legacies like Lady Bird Johnson gave us “Head Start”, Betty Ford let us know that it was okay to say “I have a substance abuse problem” and gave us the “Betty Ford Clinic”; Barbara Bush promoted literacy, Laura Bush promoted our nations library system, Michelle Obama promoted healthier diets especially for children, and so on……then I asked what was Jackie Kennedy’s legacy as I really didn’t know.  

Sandi “Binged” Jacquelyn Kennedy and found out that she was the one responsible for the White House Museum Legislation that will forever preserve the history of the White House.  Shortly after moving in, Jackie started a complete renovation of the White House.  Jackie had visited the White House as a young girl in 1941 and shortly before the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy, first Lady Mamie Eisenhower invited, the soon to be, new First Lady to the White House for a special one on one tour.  I imagine that it was quite a different tour than the one in 1941.  Jackie Kennedy stayed fully involved throughout the entire renovation project, and was even able to track down pieces of furniture from George Washington’s Presidential residence and many pieces of other Presidents.  Most of the ground and first floor State Rooms renovations were completed before the death of President Kennedy.

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Martha Washington’s China

After this conversation I REALLY wish that we could visit George W. Bush’s Presidential Library during 2018 as there was an exhibit honoring all of our First Ladies.  During a visit to Philadelphia in 2008, we saw a small exhibit of some of the First Ladies gowns, White House china and a few other artifacts.  Oh how I love history…….hmmmm maybe we should head east to find out more First Lady history to share.

Please let me know what you think of all “OurHall.Com” blogs and my new one “Barry’s Thoughts and Quirks” by using Leaving a Reply (found under the title of the post).  I would appreciate you sharing them with your friends and family on other social media outlets.   Thanks, Barry